Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Carolina Lupine and Other Spring Flowers

Carolina Lupine, aka Thermopsis villosa, a native plant, is a fairly new addition to Tiger Gardens. I purchased this particular plant at Cheekwood's Wildflower sale last year and can you say wow? In only one year Carolina lupine has grown to nearly four feet tall and stands up straight and proud as it shows off its lupine like yellow blooms.
I read where this plant is drought tolerant and since the new buzz word in my gardens is drought tolerant I thought I'd buy a thermopsis. I simply cannot baby plants and water them on a regular basis so drought tolerant is a good thing here. In the one year this plant has been in the garden it has not needed additional water. It withstood last summer's extreme heat and drought and came back wonderfully this year.
I have my lupine planted on the south side of the Rear Center Garden where it gets a bit of sun but not a great deal. It is sited under an oak tree to within four feet of the trunk of said oak tree. The conditions are inhospitable but so far the Carolina lupine has not been fazed by it all. I look forward to more good things to come from this plant. While at GroWild on Saturday I convinced my friend Naomi to buy herself a pot of the lupine. She was skeptical until she saw this one blooming its heart out in the garden.
Peonies are in full bloom and now the St. Josephs hardy amaryllis has joined the show. The white peony is 'Immaculee' and I tell you this peony above all others makes me think of frothy white cupcakes. Don't you think so too?
Here is an even better picture of the 'cupcakes'. The shape and size of the blooms as well as the texture of the petals just reminds me of swirls. I've been picking a lot of these to enjoy inside of the house as I work on designs. I think somehow even if the flowers do not inspire me when designing gardens they sure help me feel as though I am in the garden because I miss the garden!
Dutch irises were a late additions planted this January. I did not expect these to bloom but they surprised me. They are next to the new concrete patio by the new pond.
The front foundation gardens overflow with peonies, catmint, and lamb's ear-at least that is what it looks like here. This is the spring view. It will completely change in another month.
Bellflowers are blooming. I love these things because they bloom forever. Naomi gave me this start last year and they have spread quite a bit.
One bonus of living under trees is when the pools of sunlight come into the garden and highlight a plant. The above picture and the one below are examples of the pools of light. These irises are late irises and are a healthy bunch. I love their sunny color. The little bowling ball is peeking out too.
This last view is of 'Immaculee' in the new Non Pool Garden near the greenhouse. Everything around these peonies was in shade but this pool of light somehow hit these peonies just right....

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. I always enjoyed reading your drought-tolerant plant collection. As we have very extreme summer weather here. I always wanted to try growing lupine. They bloom so beautifully in your garden. I found iris drought-tolerant too. They seem to do very well last summer here in our garden.

  2. Would the lupine do well this far south? Zone 8b? I love yellow flowers. The other day I saw peonies for sale at Home Depot. I didn't think they would be able to survive conditions here, but apparently new varieties have been developed for them. Either that, or Home Depot is trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Peonies are hard to resist. That white one you have is magnificent.

    1. W2W, Thermopsis is hardy to Zone 9 so I do believe it would grow for you no problem. As for the peonies I was shocked they grew in Tennessee but Skeeter grows them in Georgia so you never know...

  3. Cupcakes indeed! Beautiful and they just glow in the sun! I do not have any lupine and if it is drought happy, then I should have an entire garden full of it! We need rain down here in GA....

  4. Everything is very pretty, love the ruffle cupcake blooms and you may just have talked me into looking for this lupine.

  5. Fantastic. I love your garden. I've tried peonies here but they didn't make it. Yes, we need rain here too. I may have to try the lupine.

  6. lupins are wonderful wonderful plants, beautiful flowers and fix nitrogen in the soil. You are so lucky they are native and grow so well. Here they do need watering, so I won't grow them. (btw I referred to your bicycle planter in my latest post and you got a complimentary comment from Malay-Kadazan Girl).

  7. Love the yellow lupine...quite a different leaf than my native lupine!

    1. Donna, the leaves are hard to see except in the first picture. The other two pictures show agastache mixed in with the lupine so it can be misleading. The form is similar to your lupines but much larger and compound.

  8. Drought tolerant is what I need!! I am going to get some for me to put in. Love all your beautiful flowers!!

  9. The lupine is nice but the white peonies really grabbed my attention. The light is perfect on them. They shine!